Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Let me entertain you..

Last Monday I was so thrilled to have a bit of time to myself after the Christmas hols that I danced a little jig in the kitchen. This was swiftly followed by a cup of tea and Grazia on the sofa. It was bliss.
One week on and I am bored out of my tiny mind. My mother would have tutted and reminded me of all the housework that needs doing but, since when has loading the washing machine, bleaching the toilets and spraying Mr Sheen around ever been considered fulfilling?
Instead I have wandered around complaining to anyone prepared to listen and to be honest, three year olds couldn’t care less, how thoroughly cheesed off I am. Of course the apocalyptic weather doesn’t help my sombre mood. Day after day of incessant rain and dark skies does little to lift one’s spirits and, as all my friends are out earning a crust and being dynamic, I have been left to find ways in which to entertain myself.
Well, don’t leave me in charge of an entertainments committee as my diverting little jaunts have been a little peculiar. Firstly, I went to Truro for a CT scan of my head. You’d think that appointment clerks would have the most basic of geography within their grasp but apparently not given that I, who lives about four miles away from Derriford hospital was given an appointment in Treliske, over an hour away? Well, I thought it would be just over an hour, but I left here at 7am for an 8.25 appointment and arrived, stressed and heart beating wildly at 9.10. Yes, I confess I did use my mobile phone whilst in the car but, as I was stationary for over forty minutes then hurtling towards certain death I was not. I needed to contact the hospital though to inform them that I was frantically attempting to get to them and would they please keep my appointment for me. I couldn’t imagine anything worse at that moment than, having rearranged everyone else’s schedules so that they could look after my children, to find the whole thing cancelled. Extraordinarily I was not met with the usual bored, haughty voice informing me, “I am sorry Mrs Band, there is nothing I can do. You should have been prepared for traffic and made arrangements accordingly. You will have to go back on the waiting list”. Although who I could have asked to help me with my various kids before 7am I know not. As it was, the lady on the end of the phone could not have been kinder or more reassuring.
“Don’t worry Mrs Band. The traffic in Truro is notoriously bad and you’ve had such a long way to come. Just you drive carefully and I’ll let the CT unit know you will be here soon”. I was so relieved and yet amazed that ‘hospital’ staff should be so kind. Isn’t that a terrible thing? But in the past all I have met is glassy eyed admin staff stuck behind a computer screen, who can barely bring themselves to communicate with anything more verbose than, “Please take a seat until your name is called”, and God forbid that a slight anomaly has occurred, then their repertoire extends to an obdurate, “I am sorry I cannot discuss anything with you. The consultant is not available”, or the ever popular, “We don’t seem to have your notes”.
They positively welcomed me at Treliske. Firstly two elderly volunteers smilingly gave me directions, then the admin staff, who could see how flustered I was, suggested, kindly, that I get myself a coffee before I had my scan. Very soon after, the medical staff called me and were charming. I was a little disarmed by their sense of humour and warmth but if this is how they operate in Cornwall then it really was worth the trip.
A few days later with the beds stripped and the wash on, I was bored rigid again. As I wandered to get the Red-Head from nursery I saw a banner on some railings in the town. ‘Give Blood’ it insisted. I had nothing else to do that afternoon, there’d be other adults there I reasoned and I’ve never been one to resist a free cup of tea and one of those triumvirate packets of custard creams.
So, the Red-Head and I made our way to the Council Chambers. I have donated blood before but not very successfully; for some reason my blood is in no rush to leave my body, now this would be excellent in a road traffic accident but it is rubbish for donation as the Blood service need to have it bagged within so many minutes. So, when they saw me enter you could almost hear a collective sigh. We went through the usual preamble of intimate questions on sexual practices, which I am so very pleased to report that I had nothing to do with. When my great aunt Bessie gave blood did they have to explain to her what these ‘practices’ were, or given her nice hat and Welsh Baptist views did the nurses just assume that she was a straight up and down sorta gal?
Eventually, satisfied that I was not anaemic nor a sexual deviant they lay me down on the bed. This is the best bit, a lie down in the middle of the afternoon. The Red-Head had crayons and I had a needle put in my arm and whilst those around me gushed into a plastic bag, my bloody blood, dripped. It was very frustrating. Once again this could all have been in vain, until a nurse of the old school got hold of my arm, adjusted it and lo and behold, I too gushed with the best of them.It’s an odd way to fill my time, I’ll give you that, but with an appointment with the neurosurgeon, soon to be followed by the skin testing clinic, my diary is filling up fast.

6 comments:

Mary Alice said...

Great post as usual. Funny how the frantic pace of the holidays goes on and we want to be over and then when it is we have no idea what to do with ourselves....by the way...have you noticed your google ads...all about how to find a hot wife to date? Blahahaha. Is it just me that thinks that is absurdly funny? After I finish stain sticking the laundry of my own family I really have no desire to take on some other man who is looking to be taken care of.

enidd said...

enidd's not allowed to give blood, because in abroad they think all brits have mad cow disease. hang on, perhaps enidd does have mad cow disease. it would explain a lot.

hope you got your custard creams.

thefoodsnob said...

I HATE running late like that, good of them to be so nice and get you relaxed.
That's a lot of medical things going on, I hope you are ok.


Lisa

Alice Band said...

Mary Alice - I noticed the googled ads too! Who do they think I am??

enidd - custard creams were great. I didn't follow their advice of no alcohol though..

Lisa - I'm fine, just weird things that need sorting out. Thankyou x

Sally Lomax said...

I always feel really tired after giving blood.... Hubby's better at going than me. Although the lie down and custard creams are very nice.

Are you ok Alice? Why all these hospital appointments?? I've managed to join all your friends that are employed. I'm working full time at the moment. It's a real shock to the system after all these years....

Alice Band said...

Sally _ I wondered where you'd gone! I miss you.. The last child will be at school full time this time next year. Methinks I'd better kick start a career..